Everything

Favorite Food Things 2019 – Kemuri Tatsu-ya, Uchi, Jerk King, etc

Posted on by Ricky in Everything | Leave a comment

2019 was a good year for eating. Like Richard Gere once said – “Food is the only beautiful thing that truly nourishes”

Here are my favorite food things in 2019

Austin Foods – Kemuri Tatsu-Ya / Uchi
This year I went to the BBQ mecca that is Franklin’s BBQ, but frankly – Kemuri Tatsu-Ya is my favorite place in Austin. The combination of using mixing Japanese ingredients and technique with Texas BBQ and technique is just something so purely unique and out of this world you just have to shake your head. The BBQ smoked fish collar and the ramen tsukemen where the dipping broth is made from some concentrated brisket bbq stock are just so good.

Uchi was another great experience – Omakase Japanese dinner that is traditional in service sense but also not that traditional in that food plays around with some of the ingredients that are clearly influenced by people living in a south Texas city that is close to the Mexican border. A great meal.

Oyster + Foie Gras + Uni, Morimoto, Las Vegas
It doesn’t take a genius to put three things super rich and high on umami together on a single plate – or does it? I have never thought about combining these three things before and yet, here we are, in Las Vegas and I’m eating this delicous thing (picture at top) that I don’t even know how to process mentally.

Peking Duck
Just leaving this here, because I enjoy eating Peking Duck always.

Kudu, Crocodile, Wildebeest, Blesbock, Uganda
Not often you get to eat all the animals featured in a Planet Earth episode, but for me this dinner was great for several reasons.

1. This was our only real stop in a city on my Africa Safari tour, and previously we had been eating a lot of lodge food, or make shift dinners.

2. It was nearing the end of our adventure so me and my tour mates decided to splurge (I guess you can call it that) and book the best restaurant in Kampala

3. The food was delicious

4. There were no bugs despite sitting outside because there war bats the size of little cats flying everywhere eating them all.

So overall, you have great food with great memories, and that’s the formula for success

Jerk King (Anything, anytime), Toronto
Jerk King is amazing, you can literally get two meals for like 12 bucks because they give you so much food. I love Jerk King, and I go there frequently. Mostly after midnight.

The Free bread at Aloette, Toronto
I didn’t even know the tasty bread at Aloette was free until after my second visit. I love that bread. Go eat it.

Screen Shot 2019-12-26 at 9.06.03 PM

Everything – De Librije
Located in a tiny town just outside Amsterdam, De Librije was a gastronomic experience that I quite enjoyed. The presentation was amazing, and each dish was so unique and great.

Congee Queen – Congee Queen is like the life line for Chinese people living in Toronto. It’s consistently good and very cheap.

Screen Shot 2019-12-26 at 9.09.37 PM

Oyster, Nerua Guggenheim – Bilbao
This oyster was the best oyster I’ve ever had. It was not even raw, slightly cooked but just tasted amazing.

I could go on and on, but those were some of my favorites! What were yours

Favourite Concerts of 2019

Posted on by Ricky in Everything | Leave a comment

The Comet is Coming

Hard to believe a decade has come to an end, I thought about encapsulating my decade in shows and coming up with a best of, but that’s far too much work and frankly, only I’d care about that shit. So here is some shit that probably only I care about anyways but I guess that’s the point of the blog anyways.

I didn’t see a lot of shows this year, this thing called “work” really got in my way in terms of sucking all the energy out of me during the day, leaving me little reserve to go out at night. Like those famous philosophers Blink 182 used to say, “I guess this is growing up”

Still, I saw some shows, so here are my favorites from what i say

Otokobe Beaver, SXSW
What can I say that I haven’t already said in my review of their show?. Nine months later, the memory of utter chaos and explosive energy that was the show still remains fresh in my mind. Considering I don’t even remember what I ate for lunch three days ago, that’s quite the accomplishment. Luckily for me, they are playing Austin next year, so I can go see them again.

The Comet is Coming, SXSW (x2), Mod Club, Toronto
The only band I saw three times this year, The Comet is Coming makes me wonder if I’m slowly descending into a more jazzy area of my life. They aren’t really jazz, but I don’t know what they are. I just know they are fucking awesome. Here is my take on their show from Austin.

The Chromatics, Danforth Music Hall, Toronto
If you were to put a gun to my head and ask me for a bucket list of still active bands I’d like to see that I’ve never seen before, the Chromatics would be at the top of my list. You could get that list without putting a gun to my head as well. I’ve been following this band for a bout a decade now, as around ten years ago, I was really obsessive about the VALERIE / French electronic music and somehow Chromatics got lumped into that group. The band has been shy about touring but continue to sometimes put out music. Their show here was great, it was amazing hearing songs I really loved live, and as you can imagine, the show’s aesthetics / light show was meticulously crafted. Considering the build up, not disappointing at all.

The Strokes, Budweiser Stage, Toronto
People like to shit on the Strokes these days, but they can’t deny that the first two albums they released were magical. Their show was a great dive into those nostalgic times in university when I was trying to tell all my friends about them and how much cooler they were then those shitty Edgefest Canadian Raine Maida-esque bands they liked. In other news, the Strokes album is almost twenty years old. So by that measure, I’m getting old.

Chai, SXSW
Chai is the Baby Yoda of the music world. Impossibly cute, but underneath it, some crazy powers. Their show was enjoyable and better yet, makes you happy.

How was your 2020?

Burger Review: Bymark Burger, Bymark

Posted on by Ricky in Everything | Leave a comment

bymark burger

Hello, it’s been awhile since we last reviewed burgers here on the site.

As a reminder, this is a series based on a top 10 list of burgers published in Toronto Life.

However, this burger isn’t on the list. To be completely honest, I forgot about this list – I just thought I was really into burgers a few years ago.

This is the Bymark Burger and at $40, it may be one of the most, if not the most expensive burger in the city. It is certainly the most expensive burger I’ve ever had. The thing I’ve learned in life i that when life gives you free work dinners, you definitely order the most expensive burger you’ll probably ever order.

The Burger
– 8OZ BYMARK BURGER, brie de meaux, shaved truffle, grilled porcini mushroom

From my shitty internet research, it appears that the beef is from grass-fed strip loin. The cheese is obviously a fancier version of brie and anything with truffle is obviously next level.

The Verdict
Presentation wise, it was super pretty.

However, I was not impressed. At a 40 dollar price range, this burger came with sky high expectations and it definitely did not meet them. The burger was a decent size and bun was pleasant. However, the patty seemed like it could be salted a bit better and I think could have used a bit more fat.

In terms of togetherness, truffle and brie both have very strong tastes on their own and combined, it was unique but I would say occasionally overwhelming in that sometimes when I had a bite, I could taste the truffle, sometimes the cheese, sometimes the mushroom. It didn’t all come together. As a result, it was an unbalanced eating experience.

Complements:
The burger came with a choice of greens / fries / onion rings. OBVIOUSLY I picked onion rings. Only a monster would choose fries over onion rings.

The onion rings were delicious in all their greasy glory. I wanted more, but it’s a fancy place so I guess four onion rings is enough.

Handfeel
The burger had a good weight to it, but the sauce quickly soaked through to the point where I had to switch to a fork and knife halfway through so that my hands didn’t become super greasy. I personally like eating burgers with my hands so this was disappointing.

Overall
If this was a 20 dollar burger, I probably would have been more generous in my review, but as a 40 dollar burger it didn’t meet my standards.

Burger Scale

Amarillo Burger, Casino El Camino – 10$ USD
The Burger, Wickson Social – 19$
Bombolone Burger, Bar Buca – 15$
Burger, Rasa – 17$
Prime Beef Double Cheeseburger, Museum Tavern – 19$
Skyline Burger, Skyline Diner – 14$
Brisket Cheese Burger, Carbon Bar – 22$
Bymark Burger, Bymark – 40$
Game Burger, Antler – 18$
Vegan Mac Daddy, Doomies – 16$

Preview: Riptide Music Festival

Posted on by halley in Everything | Leave a comment

11x17_Riptide2019_92519

As much as I love my hometown (#chicitymycity) and I know all our Canadian readers love theirs, I would hope we’re all mature enough to acknowledge one small – flaw? quirk? reality? – about our residences: the winters can be a beast. I think it’s especially on my mind as Daylight Saving Time has descended on the world, making it pitch black at 5 PM. While I respect that ye olde farmers may have needed that extra hour to… do whatever farmers do (harvest? reap? sow? sew?), I’m of the strong belief we should do away with everything that brings more darkness, cold and general discomfort to our modern population.

Since doing away with Daylight Saving Time may be a LITTLE outside my power of influence, I’m happy to spread the word about a more feasible opportunity to soak up some sun, surf and songs later this month. The Riptide Music Festival on fantastic Fort Lauderdale Beach, Florida is almost upon us! The two-day festival on November 23rd-24th will feature over 20 musical performers including Jimmy Eat World, The Killers, The 1975, The Revivalists and Judah & The Lion (who I just saw and fell in love with), among others. Tickets range from $29-$79 at www.riptidefest.com, and are going fast.

If you’re looking for more than a tan and tunes (hard to fathom you’d need anything else, but just in case!), the festival is also featuring Festival Fashion Make-overs with Tan France, fashion expert from “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” and a runaway fashion show with designer George Styler. The event will also feature an enhanced art exhibition celebration and a robust array of culinary food demos by celebrity chefs on the Maximus mobile kitchen, as seen on Gordon Ramsey’s television show “Hell on Wheels.”

Still debating whether to spend a weekend on the beach? Let me give you a quick gut check: I just pulled up the weather on my phone. Chicago? 31 degrees (-0.5 C for all you Candians). Fort Lauderdale? A sweet 80 degrees (26 C). I rest my case. See you in Florida.